Pelicans schedule: Brutal upcoming stretch will test endurance

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Orleans Pelicans got a big shorthanded win at home last night with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones watching from the bench.

The Pels’ roster depth was put to the test with three starters out, and the reserves stepped up, with eight players scoring in double digits, led by a perfect night and 22 points from Trey Murphy III, who got the start.

It was a great team win, the kind of win you need if you want to climb to the top of the Western Conference, and the Pelicans are showing signs that they could be one of those teams.

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The Pelicans don’t play again until Friday, which will hopefully be enough time to get Zion and Jones back, though Ingram could be out a few more days with concussion-like symptoms.

They’ll need all of their depth soon, as they have a brutal upcoming stretch in the schedule that will test their endurance early in the season.

Pelicans schedule: New Orleans hits the road

The Pels need to get healthy quickly, a they have an upcoming seven-game stretch that is mostly on the road and against good teams:

  • @Phoenix
  • @LA Clippers
  • @LA Lakers
  • vs. Warriors
  • @Atlanta
  • @Indiana
  • @Chicago

As you can see, six of the next seven games are on the road and all but one of them are against teams that have plans of making the playoffs.  The Suns and Clippers are legit title contenders, and even if you think the Lakers stink, playing LeBron and AD on the road is never fun.

Then the Pels come back home against the defending champs before immediately hitting the road for games against Atlanta, Indiana and Chicago. It’s not a great time to have key players out, so the Pelicans will be leaning heavily on their depth with all the tough games and travel.

The good news is that if New Orleans can make it through this stretch healthy and with a few wins, they will come back to the Smoothie King Center for a six-game homestand starting November 10th.

The NBA season is a grind, and this will be an early test for New Orleans, who are hitting the road without their full roster.

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